Joel Embiid having become French this week, the path now seems clear for the Cameroonian by birth to join the tricolor ranks. Something to make Sacha Giffa, coach of the Indomitable Lions, react…
This time, we seem to be heading straight for it: after many years of rumors and behind-the-scenes negotiations, Joel Embid became a French citizen. The pivot of the Sixers thus fulfills a long-standing wish, he who has long calmed his love of France and his desire to join the national team of Vincent Collet. From now on, this opportunity can become reality if the FFBB and the coach decide.
Cameroon coach reacts to Embiid bomb
If this news is generally well received by tricolor fans, who are already delighted to see Rudy Gobert and Embiid associated in the racket, the pill is now harder to swallow for Cameroonians. In the columns of the Team, the coach Sacha Giffa thus delivered his first feeling:
With everything we see at the moment with the African basket, we must not lose our nuggets. They must stay on the continent, make it shine. Which European team has two top 20 interiors in the NBA? I don’t see any. Cameroon has this (with Embiid and Pascal Siakam, editor’s note). With the elements that evolve at the university, those who have been drafted, players in Europe, we can really have a very, very good team.
The Indomitable Lions coach, himself a former French international, does not hide the fact that he still has a slim hope of recovering his nugget:
We will continue to work, no matter what. Now it’s his personal choice. Maybe he’ll join us later, that’s what we hope. But if all the talents do that, it’s sad for the African continent.
One thing is certain: Embiid’s decision has not finished making people talk. At a time when the African basket is developing better than ever, particularly through the BAL and the emergence of many talents from the continent, the message sent by this choice may be misunderstood. There is no doubt that the main interested party will sooner or later have to come out of silence in order to explain his motivations, and why not send a message to the Cameroonian fans perplexed by the announcement of this news.
It’s a safe bet that the 2024 Olympics, which will be held in France, have been taken into account in Embiid’s thinking. After a superb silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, the French will try to apply the work of several decades by seeking gold in front of their supporters. The Sixers All-Star, who dreams of Olympic glory, is obviously not insensitive to this prospect…
Disappointment and sadness prevail at Sacha Giffa, but not resignation. The Cameroonian coach deplores the choice of his star but takes care to leave the door open to him. Do we ever know…